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Yr3 homework all going online - not happy!

(68 Posts)
ZucchiniPie Fri 24-Feb-17 17:02:22

DD's school has announced that from now on all Year 3 homework is going be done online. They're using BugClub for reading and MyMaths for maths. I haven't seen either of these yet as the log-in details haven't come home (I'll see them later today) but I'm instinctively very unhappy about what this will entail, on a number of fronts. Most of my worries are about screen addiction (which I, like most adults, suffer from myself, and want to delay the onset of in my children for as long as possible). But I'm also very far from convinced that this is the best way for a child to learn and truly understand maths. And certainly for reading, DD loves reading, part of which is the pleasure of curling up with a book, which I really don't want to take away from her.

Has anyone else with a child in Year 3 had this imposed on them and did you try and resist?

pinkish Fri 24-Feb-17 17:03:56

All hw online. It's a poor way to learn, I agree.

ZucchiniPie Fri 24-Feb-17 17:06:40

I have been wondering whether I could go online each week and copy whatever the task is myself and get DD to do it on paper...

And just ignore the reading hw. There are no sanctions they can use, are there?

mouldycheesefan Fri 24-Feb-17 17:07:24

Hi my school uses both of these, they are both excellent . My children do still read books as well, bug club doesn't replace books for them they are avid readers. They also read kindles. They tend to do their homework online and then read books as well.the good thing about bug club is it's like having an online librrary of hundreds of book to access. They also get online rewards which they really like . It means no printing and losing of worksheets, you do it and it's automatically done, no handing in of stuff.
If you think your child will end up having too much screen time with this then cut down a bit on other screen time, but I don't think you will think that. Mine still read to me as well lots, sometimes from online source or sometimes from a book . I still read to them

My advice is don't be change resistant ,see how you get on. The world is becoming more t chnologicsl that won't change so get onboard!

Chippednailvarnishing Fri 24-Feb-17 17:09:13

Maybe you should actually see the HW before complaining? And doing HW online hasn't changed my DC's love for books.

mouldycheesefan Fri 24-Feb-17 17:09:31

Mymaths you couldn't copy because it's things like popping the balloons where they add up to a certain number.
Why don't you want them to read online? Do you have a kindle? My kids love theirs. Think of bug club being like that. Don't be a Luddite!

BeyondThePage Fri 24-Feb-17 17:11:56

My-maths is fantastic and still being used by my girls to about Y9. They do exercises building up each topic from a basic level, testing understanding and gaps in knowledge. There are revision topics available for each exercise and it really is a fantastic resource (my girls are top 10% of top set and it really helped them get there).

The reading thing I don't know, but surely it can be in addition to curling up with a good book, not instead of. My girls both drudged through the limited school library homework books and read what they wanted from the main town library for half an hour before bedtime in addition.

Sirzy Fri 24-Feb-17 17:12:37

We have bug club but that's to go alongside "normal" books not to replace them.

Most importantly have the school checked that all the families have access to the internet at home and access with enough data to allow them to actually do the work? Although the majority probably will in a lot of areas it could cause problems for some children and put them at a disadvantage.

Must better to use a variety of mediums and approaches to homework IMO

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 24-Feb-17 17:13:57

Wait and see how it goes, but I'm kind of with you. My daughters' primary school made heavy use of Mathletics for maths homework. As far as I could see, there were a few kids who really loved it and spent hours online doing the competitive activities and trying to win certificates. Others (like mine) found it dull and repetitive and much preferred having a mixture of books, worksheets and practical maths activities. Neither seemed very satisfactory.

Online tools can great in moderation, but I do think there is quite a bit of hypocrisy when online is viewed as automatically better, while at the same time people wring their hands about how much time children are spending on screens. This sounds a bit all or nothing, which would concern me.

mouldycheesefan Fri 24-Feb-17 17:14:59

At our school children with no internet at home get given time in school to do it. And no they don't miss playtime. Those are likely to be the families where they don't bother doing homework anyway and books aren't returned.

NoSquirrels Fri 24-Feb-17 17:17:37

My DC has had both BugClub and MyMaths & loved both. I think once you have a play around with them you'll be happy. We are a big books household, & BugClub was in addition not to detriment of curling up with a book.

Fwiw, when they introduced the system, it was explained to us that there is loads of behind the scenes analytics which teachers are privy to for each child which offer a really focused personal look at what the particular child needs. So it's great for both reluctant and advanced readers. Give it a chance.

I wouldn't lament lack of paper homework myself - presume they still get the odd project based homework too?

ZucchiniPie Fri 24-Feb-17 17:32:30

Sirzy that's one of my gripes with it, though it doesn't apply to us (we have unlimited broadband). But I have to say I'm not that comfortable with my 7yo using my rather delicate laptop, so inevitably this is going to mean buying another computer for her (and her little brother when he starts to use).

Of course we'll try it before complaining to the school but AChickenCalledKorma I think you're absolutely right about the hypocrisy, and the fact that this is all or nothing. I would feel much happier if this was one of several approaches the school used.

I'm not being a Luddite which suggests someone who is scared of change for no reason. My worries stem from things like the 2015 OECD report whose finding was that education technology has no measurable benefit and is possibly deleterious to learning outcomes.

It strikes me these kinds of initiatives are about schools saving money and time (which I realise may have some benefit elsewhere) and also being seen to be 'progressive' without actually digging down into how children's brains can best be developed.

mouldycheesefan Fri 24-Feb-17 17:34:49

Homework in general for primary school has been found to have no beneficial outcome! So stop doing any homework if that's your beef!

A seven year old should be fine being careful with a laptop.

mouldycheesefan Fri 24-Feb-17 17:35:45

Also the licences for these programmes are very expensive, PTA pays for some of it at our school. So it's not a money saver other than photocopying of homework that they would have done.

irvineoneohone Fri 24-Feb-17 17:36:05

Our school use bug club. It has so many books to choose from, so not too bad, imo. Also use other maths site as well. They don't get specific number of skills/books you have to do each week, and they get written homework as well.
I have seen recommendation for mymaths from great maths teacher on MN, so it must be quite good.

BeyondThePage Fri 24-Feb-17 17:52:58

One of the big (REALLY big) advantages in my maths is that the child gets instant feedback on their answers - they don't have to wait a couple of days for it to be marked and handed back only to find that they have misunderstood the question and done them all wrong. They can pull up revision topics instantly in order to give themselves a refresher on what they are trying out questions on.

The teacher gets a report/log on what they have done and how well they have completed the tasks, it helps them to see where the whole class needs a bit more focus and where each individual child needs further help. (which only works, by the way, if parents don't "help" too much)

Crumbs1 Fri 24-Feb-17 17:57:13

Why dos online homework stop you curling up with your child and a book for pleasure?

RandomDent Fri 24-Feb-17 18:01:43

I hate setting homework, I don't see the point. It only seems to be some parents who like it, which is why it's set in our school. Mymaths is v helpful for this, it's a 2 minute job for me instead of 20. And instant feedback with no marking.

Brighteyes27 Fri 24-Feb-17 18:06:18

My DD is dyslexia and really not keen on writing and school work but I have to say she loved my maths and she was completed motivated to do her homework on her own in this way. As opposed to any written homework apart from art where I had to sit with her the whole time encouraging and motivating her and whichever way it usually ended up in tears and arguments etc every time.

ZucchiniPie Fri 24-Feb-17 18:24:57

It's definitely heartening to hear good reports of MyMaths and we're certainly not going to dismiss the whole thing without seeing what's actually involved.

With the reading site, I personally have never liked Kindles for myself (and they're not even backlit) so the thought of DD having to read entire books on a bright computer screen does make me uneasy. Of course it would be possible to still curl up with a book, but would the online reading gradually push that aside? That's what I'm worried about.

mouldycheesefan interesting point about the license fee!

MrsBobtonTrent Fri 24-Feb-17 20:36:31

We have found it very tedious. The first maths program school sent home wouldn't work on a tablet and we thought a laptop would be more useful long term so bought one. The following year the school changed to a program that works better on a tablet. I refused to shell out again and the games were impossible without a touchscreen (so you fail because of gameplay instead of maths skill). We stopped doing it and wrote a letter to school explaining why. Then they started hauling out DC in at lunchtime to complete HW then. The following year we moved to another program which keeps crashing (not just for us, but for other parents as well). The whole thing is a massive waste of time (my time, DCs time and the school's time).
We haven't had Mathletics yet, but it does seem to be the best of the bunch.

If you have more than one child, they are unable to do their homework/school reading at the same time unless you buy them each a gadget. You can't do the homework at the leisure centre in between swimming lessons. I'm not anti- tech and have used Khan Academy/read theoryetc at home. But it is our choice and has not been foisted upon us by a school that knows nothing of our technological circumstances.

Wait4nothing Fri 24-Feb-17 20:46:21

I've used bug club before and the range of books and comprehension questions are very good. They will probably have access to more books and won't have to wait to change books etc. Please try it first.

StarUtopia Fri 24-Feb-17 20:50:52

My only issue with online HW is that I only have a very expensive MacBook (which I use for work) in the house.

So how exactly they would expect my children to be able to do their hw is beyond me! (no chance is a Year3 child using that!)

I think that's what annoys me. It's forcing families to have a 'family computer' and like you, I would rather limit their online time - not add to it

irvineoneohone Fri 24-Feb-17 20:56:33

Ds' school has both bug club and reading book as homework.
Bug club is solely used as comprehension homework.

bigearsthethird Fri 24-Feb-17 21:12:15

I hate it being online. We have 1 computer and 4 kids, it's bloody ridiculous. They have to wait to do their homework instead of being able to just get on with it when they get in.

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